On January 31, 2017 the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) Board of Directors issued a statement strongly denouncing the blanket restrictions on travel to the US of citizens from select countries that had just been announced by the Trump administration. We stand by our longstanding commitment to global engagement, educational and cultural exchanges, free inquiry, and mutual understanding. While the legal situation is still evolving, we find these discriminatory actions both contrary to core American principles and a threat to international scholarly exchange.
As an academic society dedicated to international cooperation and respectful dialogue across difference, we are committed to ensuring a safe and welcoming space for all our conference attendees. CIES leadership has attempted to reach out, offer our solidarity and try to arrange virtual participation for CIES 2017 conference registrants from the countries affected by the Trump administration’s actions. We are committed to making CIES an inclusive conference and, alongside subsidized childcare, a nursing mothers room, and a gender-neutral bathroom, we have reserved Georgia 14 (Floor 1) as a Prayer / Meditation room [see conference map]. As a gesture of solidarity with our many Muslim members, all of the food served at our Opening Reception on Monday March 6th will be halal.
CIES leadership calls for our colleagues to continue to advocate for the flow of people and exchange as essential to inquiry and the advancement of educational knowledge and development. To further our commitments as a community of education researchers, practitioners, policymakers and students convening in Atlanta focused on advancing equality, understanding, and international cooperation, we have organized a series of activities and events under the heading of CIES RESPONDS. These include the following:
Partnerships with local Atlanta organizations
Please check out our exhibit hall as each day of the conference there will be a booth dedicated to a different local organization. Learn about different Atlanta-area organizations that work, for example, on refugee resettlement and education of immigrants. CIES 2017 is offering complimentary conference registration to representatives from these organizations so that there can be reciprocally beneficial learning.
Highlighting CIES 2017 panels on immigration and refugee & immigrant education issues
CIES members possess a wealth of research and practice-oriented expertise on immigration and refugee issues. The existing 2017 Conference Program contains a number of sessions on these topics that we have gathered together into a special featured strand of panels; please check the conference App and our website for a daily list of sessions relevant to this theme. For example, be sure to check out Monday’s Presidential Highlighted Session on the experiences of immigrant students in the US South – Session 109. 11:30 to 1:00 pm, Sheraton Atlanta: Floor 3 – Grand Ballroom D&E (South Tower).
If you work on immigration and refugee education issues and have an interest in joining up with other researchers to bring different global perspectives to these topics, please attend the relevant pop-up tables dedicated to this topic at our Tuesday evening (March 7th) 8pm-10pm Un/Conference Event.
Learn more about Political Processes, Organizing and Activism in the US
We have organized a set of three panels designed to offer educational information and resources for CIES attendees to engage with one another and with the issues raised by US policies.
- If you are confused about the relation between Executive Orders, the US Constitution, US Immigration Law and the Courts plan on attending this Tuesday morning session that will offer a basics civics primer on political activism in the United States. Presidential Highlighted Session: The Basics of US Civics, Government, and Social Movements for International Meeting Participants [Tuesday March 7th 8:00 to 9:30 am, Sheraton Atlanta: Floor 1 – Capitol South (North Tower)]
- Come join us for an urgent teach-in to help make sense of what Donald Trump’s presidency means for CIES and our field. Presidential Highlighted Session: Trump Teach-In Teaching Social Justice in Comparative and International Education [Tuesday March 7th, 10:00 to 11:30am, Sheraton Atlanta, Floor 3 – Grand Ballroom D&E (South Tower)]
- Please also join for a workshop specially designed to train conference attendees to engage in conversation about how we can find common ground and work across differences, locally and globally. Presidential Highlighted Session: Engaging with Difference for a Common Cause: Protecting Democracy, Locally and Globally Thu, March 9, 9:45 to 11:15am, Sheraton Atlanta, 3, Grand Ballroom D&E (South Tower)
Express Yourself in Atlanta (and Beyond)
During the conference please be sure to visit and contribute to the CIES 2017 CIES RESPONDS Mural which will be under construction Monday through Wednesday in the first floor hallway outside the Georgia 7-9 conference meeting rooms. We’ll be documenting the construction of the mural with time-elapse photos and plan to screen a video memorializing this collective undertaking at the CIES 2017 Closing Ceremony on Thursday March 9th.
Wednesday March 8th is International Women’s Day, please be sure to follow @CIES2017 on twitter and on other social media venues to see various ways that CIES 2017 recognizes the essential role of women in our conference and academic association. Some organizations have called for a “Day without a Woman” general strike on March 8, 2017 and propose that people wear red in solidarity as well as make an effort to patronize businesses owned by women and minorities [click here for a list of suggestions].
Several events taking place in Atlanta may be of interest to CIES 2017 attendees:
- The Atlanta-area Coalition of Refugee Service Agencies is organizing a New Americans Celebration on March 7th from 7:45AM to 2:00PM which includes training on speaking with lawmakers, lobbying and also the celebration of a US Citizenship Naturalization Ceremony taking place at the Georgia State Capitol. Advance registration with the organizers is requested. [Flyer available here]
- At 10am on Saturday Saturday March 11th there will be a town hall in Atlanta with Members of the US Congress (Rep. Stacey Abrams, House Minority Leader (HD-89) and Rep. Howard Mosby (HD-83). Additional information at http://www.activateatl.org/calendar/
Finally, though CIES 2017 takes place in Atlanta, the official institutional host is Loyola University Chicago. In keeping with the CIES tradition of local hosts offering something to attendees that relates to the local setting, we will be distributing a popular poster from Chicago, “Hate Has No Home Here”, which is based the designs and ideas of a group of students from the Chicago Public Schools. Please feel free to pick one of these posters up at the registration desk!